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Ignore the forecasts – December is heating up.

A GRAND AVENUE CHRISTMAS

Through January 8
Pabst Mansion

The Pabst Mansion has decked its halls with holly – and much more. The former beer barons’ manse is open to the public throughout the holiday season and is teeming with decorated trees, twinkling lights and crackling fires.


DAN KILEY

Through January 12
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The late landscape architect Dan Kiley lives on in the more than 1,000 designs he created worldwide. See photographs of 27 of his best-known works, including the Cudahy Gardens in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum, at the university’s school of Architecture and Urban Planning.


HOLIDAY POPS

December 1-3
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Nothing ignites the holiday spirit like music, which is why this concert series, presented by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, is an annual tradition for many Milwaukeeans. The orchestra and symphony chorus deliver stirring renditions of holiday songs and carols. And, yes, you’ll have a chance to sing along.


AN EVENING TO PROMOTE RACIAL JUSTICE

December 6
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Share your thoughts with local leaders at this community-driven program, hosted by the YWCA of Southeastern Wisconsin. Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University sociology professor and best-selling author of Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, delivers the keynote address.


GALLERY TALK

December 7
Milwaukee Art Museum

Can’t tell a Manet from a Monet? Let the students of Sarah Schaefer’s UW-Milwaukee art history classes help you out. They share what they know about the master painters featured in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s latest exhibit, “Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism in France.”


HIP-HOP NUTCRACKER

December 7
The Riverside Theater

Tchaikovsky‘s classic score gets a contemporary update, courtesy of hip-hop legend Kurtis Blow and 12 explosively talented dancers. They may not be en pointe, but their moves are
absolutely on point.


DINNER AND A SHOW

December 7, 14 and 16
The Pabst Mansion

If Captain Pabst were still around today, he’d probably approve of the lavish dinner the Pabst Mansion is offering A Christmas Carol audiences. Guests can enjoy drinks and a pre-show dinner at the mansion, prepared by Shully’s Cuisine. Afterward, they board a motor coach bound for the theater.  “What I really like about this event is that we are in essence recreating something that would have been very familiar to the Pabst family; having an enjoyable dinner in their mansion before going to see a spectacular performance at the theater that they built for the enjoyment of all Milwaukeeans,” says Pabst Mansion Executive Director John Eastberg.

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BLACK NATIVITY

December 7-17
Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall

Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes penned this powerful retelling of the nativity story. The all-black cast sings traditional Christmas carols in a soaring gospel style.


DAMIEN ESCOBAR

December 8
Turner Hall Ballroom

The youngest musician ever admitted to Juilliard, violinist Damien Escobar wowed millions when he performed alongside his brother for “America’s Got Talent” in 2008, and again when he played at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Now the two-time Emmy winner is back with a blistering solo act.


MILWAUKEE ICE FISHING AND WINTER SPORT SHOW

December 8-10
Wisconsin State Fair Park

Struggling to find the perfect gift for the ice fisher who reeled you? You’ll have several thousand selections to choose from at this indoor exhibition of sporting goods, catering to a variety of outdoorsy interests, and budgets.


THE NUTCRACKER

December 9-26
Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

More than 200 dancers (105 each night) take to the Uihlein Hall stage each year to tell the story of Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the beloved Nutcracker. The Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra and the Milwaukee Children’s Choir perform the wonderful Tchaikovsky score.


HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS IN CONCERT WITH THE MSO

December 15-17
The Riverside Theater

Let the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra cast a spell on you. It performs the score to the second Harry Potter film live, while the movie plays on a big screen. A magical night for wizards and muggles alike.


TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

December 29
BMO Harris Bradley Center

The northern lights may not be visible, but the Bradley Center will be brightly illuminated tonight – by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s electric light show. The concert, part of the group’s “Ghosts of Christmas Eve” tour, pays homage to the late TSO composer Paul O’Neill.

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THE WIZARD OF OZ

December 29-31
Miller High Life Theatre

We’re off to see the wizard. The wonderful wizard, and the rest of the residents of Oz, are coming to Milwaukee. You’ll hear all the classics, plus new tunes by Time Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.


NYE CELEBRATION WITH GGOOLLDD

December 31
Turner Hall Ballroom

Radio darlings and indie style icons Ggoolldd celebrate their latest EP, Teeth, with a hometown record release party, complete with a VJ set by 88Nine’s Jordan Lee and a midnight balloon drop that’s sure to pop.


NYE WITH THE RECORD COMPANY AND FIELD REPORT

December 31
The Riverside Theater

Two hometown heroes, the Record Company and Field Report, deliver dance-y renditions of their greatest hits. There’ll be a midnight balloon drop and party favors, too. ◆


MUSEUM MUSINGS

The Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s current exhibition, “The Seventh Day: Revisiting the Shabbat” shows visitors – through a carefully curated selection of artworks and devotional objects – how Shabbat customs, such as forgoing electronics on Friday evenings, continue to evolve.

One standout work is Judy Chicago’s color-soaked lithograph, Rainbow Shabbat, which depicts people from diverse religious backgrounds coming together to celebrate a day of rest. The work is as inspiring as it is visually arresting.

Another is a short film by Tiffany Shlain that follows the artist and her tech-obsessed family as they unplug for a weekend. Shlain identifies as a non-religious Jew but says that her family’s modernized Shabbat is her favorite part of the week.

The exhibition remains on view through Dec. 31 at Jewish Museum Milwaukee (1360 N. Prospect Ave.). – Aly Prouty


‘Agenda: December’ appears in the December 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning November 27, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.

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